How to Write an Enticing Book Blurb

What pulls you in to actually read a novel? Many things. It starts with the cover… Maybe the reviews or a friend’s recommendations? But the book blurb seals the deal.

Today I set off to write a blurb for both my novels. I figured a good blurb I could use for self-publishing, enticing beta readers, and, with a little modification, for query letters. Here is my walk-through of creating a blurb and how I applied it to my two novels.

This is a combination of formulas from: http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2013/4-easy-steps-to-an-irresistable-book-blurb/ and here: http://writerswrite.co.za/how-to-write-an-irresistible-book-blurb-in-five-easy-steps

Here are the components:

  1. Situation/Setting: Describe your main character and their situation/circumstance.
  2. Problem/Conflict/Inciting Incident: What situation is causing your character’s to need to react. This part often starts with “But…” or “However…” or “Until…”
  3. Hopeful Possibility/Possible Solution/Objective: What do your characters need to do to overcome their crisis? This should be what makes the reader want to read the story/ offer the reader hope. Good word to use here is “if”.
  4. Mood/Emotional Promise: Tell them how the book will make them feel and what type of book it is. This sets the mood/tone of the book for the reader.

Now, here is how I applied them to my novels. I’ll definitely work on tweaking these more, but a general structure.

LLC Cover - FinalLove, Lies, & Clones:

(1) Thirty-year-old June’s biggest struggle isn’t that she’s a clone. (2) It’s that her father disappeared and the police aren’t doing enough to find him.

Maybe they’d be more interested if June confessed his involvement in illegal human cloning. But then, he might face the death penalty when, or perhaps if, he’s found.

(3) Torn whether to tell the police everything or keep her father’s secret, June decides to put her troubled past behind and search for him herself. When Elliot, a man AWOL from the military, insists June’s father is the key to finding his missing brother, she reluctantly agrees to a partnership.

With each clue they uncover, June learns more about the twisted experiments her father used to create her. Her whole life she’s been taught to not trust anyone with her secret, but as the bullets begin to fly, she’s left with no choice.

(4) This speculative fiction novel, set twenty years in the future, is packed with mystery and romance and will leave you wanting more.

BHW final Blood & Holy Water:

(1) Second Order Angel, Ava, is sick of helping elderly women cross the street and strategically placing spare change where the poor can find it. (2) She wants to be promoted and finally earn her wings. An angel promotion takes more than Ava’s hard work and determination – it takes a miracle – literally. (3) Unfortunately, her miracle is impossible, as it involves a vampire.

(1) Fin, the vampire in question, has a different agenda, no miracle needed, no helping a naïve angel earn her wings. (2) He is busy keeping the Blood Board off his back. Fin has spent his entire time as a vampire avoiding his own kind, and now they are forcing him to work with them. (3) When one of his secrets surfaces, he needs the help of an angel — too bad he scared her away.

(4) Blood & Holy Water is a romantic story of the blurry lines between good and evil told from alternating perspectives.

Do you have a blurb you’ve written? Share it below, I’d love to read it!

(Also, I’d take any suggestions you have on mine.)

About Joynell Schultz

Writer & lover of all types of speculative fiction. I'm shivering in northern Wisconsin. Learn about my novels here: http://Author.to/JoynellSchultz
This entry was posted in Blood & Holy Water, Love, Lies, & Clones, Marketing, My Writing Journey, Writing Tips & Resources and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to How to Write an Enticing Book Blurb

  1. So excited for your book releases. It’s been fun reading along as you go through the development stages. Really like this cover sample too. I’m no good at writing blurbs – I like the technique you used to put yours together.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, thanks so much!!! These aren’t my final covers or blurbs. I’m a little bit of a perfectionist and will redesign and redesign. I’m going to have to bite the bullet soon and actually get the in virtual print.

      Thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Definitely have a firm cut off to the “its got to perfect” hamster wheel. Release the book, study sales for a set amount of time, THEN, if you want to tweak something (a new cover, a new plot twist, etc), make the change and see how it goes. It may never be “perfect” as far as you’re concerned, lol, but let your readers be the judge with their purchases and reviews. I think you’ll be surprised 😊. You’ve made some good choices (per your posts) so far.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Booth books look great, I can’t wait to buy them!! I wont post my book blurbs because my editor is writing them, but I WILL take notice for when I branch out solo!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, you’re so nice!!! Thank you! You’re editors writing your blurbs??? Wow. Lucky you!

      Next up is writing a synopsis — I’ve been dreading that one and actually considered hiring it out!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Long before the Human Legion, the personnel of the Human Marine Corps fought, laughed, feared, trained… and slept. Many secrets lie buried beneath the surface of Tranquility, and when Colonel Nhlappo launches a nuclear strike in defense of New Detroit, she awakens more than just the Marines sleeping beneath the ruins of the old Marine base.

        Written by JR Handley, The Sleeping Legion is a military science fiction series set in the worlds of the Human Legion.

        The struggle for control of the Tranquility system has been quietly raging since before the arrival of the first humans. The Marines didn’t start this conflict, but they sure as hell intend to finish it, because no one gets left behind.

        –> This was from my editors website, where he hosts HIS books. I write in his universe, but I’m not sure if the back copy will be the same? Good thing is in addition to getting to reach his audience, he is mentoring me along the way.

        https://humanlegion.com/books/the-sleeping-legion/

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Lana says:

    Ooh, this is a good post! I’ve never been very good at writing blurbs so this had some really good tips. And both your books sound so interesting! Blood & Holy Water has an especially fun premise. I hope your writing has been going well! Do you want to self-publish or traditional publish your books? (I feel like you may have posted about this before, but I can’t remember…)

    Liked by 1 person

    • With this formula, both blurbs were actually quite easy to write. They may not be the best ones out there, but definitely somewhere to start. Thanks for the comment on my novels sounding interesting! I’m hoping people will pick them up and read them when I’m done.

      I had (I guess I still am) struggling with self-publishing vs traditional publishing. I had decided that I was going to attempt to traditionally publish Love, Lies, & Clones and self-publish Blood & Holy Water. I really want to compare and contrast the process (And I’ll blog on it.) I’m only willing to take 10 rejections on the Clone Novel though before I self-publish. I figured sending out query letters and waiting for a response is an experience every author should have, right?

      Thanks so much for reading!

      Like

  4. Mary says:

    I get confused between logline and blurb. But here’s the blurb for my WIP written for a class –it got me a request for opening chapters for an earlier version. The rejection letter (3 actually) prompted a rewrite. So much better this time around.

    For Maureen, her family and her neighbors in Sharpsburg, the silence is even more horrible than the long hours of cannon fire and Rebel yells. Now that the Battle of Antietam is over, Maureen sets out in spite of her fears to find her headstrong brother.

    She’s just 18, an illiterate Irish immigrant with a fierce love of her family and her new country, like her brother. Joe walked off their farm as the battle began, determined to serve his country in the Union Army. Their father is furious; their mother is praying endless rosaries.

    With a pocketful of change and her father’s pistol, Maureen is determined to find out what has happened to her older brother, despite any perils she might face. But is she brave enough to face all that lies ahead on her path to an answer?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I really love it, especially the last part, starting with “Their father is furious”. It really entices me to read the book.

      Your opening paragraph clearly states who the protagonist is and what her problem is. Well done!

      Thanks for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

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